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Luis Suarez: The Path to Redemption



It’s almost a year on to the day that this season’s chief terroriser of defenders, bit a fellow professional on the football field. I am of course talking about Luis Suarez, who up until recently was widely regarded as public enemy number one and something of an enigma. So when you see the scale of the transformation that has taken place this season, it is all the more remarkable.

Suarez’s turbulent arrival at Liverpool in January 2011 was somewhat synonymous of the many controversies he would play a huge part in over the coming years. Having only recently chewed on the ear of an opponent while playing for Ajax, you would have assumed Liverpool knew what they were getting themselves into. Marvellous skill and a crazed genius that came hand in hand with the unpredictable and the downright stupid. Despite some flashes of brilliance and only the occasional goal, his first six months in a red shirt passed by in relative silence. Punctuating this however was his tendency to ‘simulate’ a foul or more simply, dive to gain decisions. From the outset, he gave no reason for football fans to hold him in high esteem.

But I’m sure not even the boldest of us could have predicted the furore that occurred in October 2011, when the Uruguayan forward made an alleged racist remark, of which he was later found guilty. Despite the perhaps ill-advised support emanating from the Liverpool camp in the aftermath, and the now infamous t-shirts, public opinion was now against Suarez almost without exception. Having served his suspension and Liverpool’s form hardly exceeding expectations, it seemed certain that his exit was imminent. However, the January transfer window came and went with nothing materialising above rumour and speculation. The diving, moaning and; perhaps the most frustrating trait for Liverpool fans, his goal-shy form, continued for the duration of the season.

In hindsight, it is quite possibly the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in the summer of 2012 that would eventually be the catalyst for an upturn in Suarez’s fortunes. An unrelenting faith was shown in him as a forward, and quite a prolific one he proved to be. In a way not too dissimilar to Guardiola’s Barcelona, everything was fed through the maverick front-man. Suddenly, the metaphorical barn door could most certainly be hit by a banjo, and a lot more besides. Now pivotal to Liverpool’s success in seemingly all matches, the goals began to flow and even his diving habit was subsiding if not yet completely diminished. While public opinion had not been completely swayed, the mere fact that he was under strong consideration for Player of the Year was indication enough that his reputation was slowly improving. This notion however, came to an abrupt halt when he was again involved in a biting incident, this time to the detriment of Branislav Ivanovic.

With the video of his antics going viral over the following hours and days, surely this was the last straw for Suarez’s tenure at Liverpool. With his punishment decided, and not playing for the final few matches of the season, all but a few believed that we had seen the last of him in the red of Liverpool. Should they receive a substantial bid in the summer, anyone would want to cut their losses, right? Surely?

The cement-like stance taken by owner John W Henry and Brendan Rodgers left Suarez with no choice but to knuckle down on Merseyside, and there is no doubt he has achieved that. For the first time whilst he has been in England, he has played with a smile, not spoken out of turn in the Uruguayan media regarding a switch from these shores, and noticeably has not been carded for diving all season. There has quite simply been a contented aura around him in the current term which has seen him go on to score more league goals for a Liverpool player since the Premier League’s birth. Another important point to note is the frequency in which he now carries out interviews in English. This cannot be underestimated as it not only gives Liverpool fans greater access to him, but allows other fans to gain a greater understanding of the man himself. Is the transformation from archetypal villain to goal-scoring hero complete if he is named Player of the Year in a few weeks and he fires Liverpool to their first ever Premier League title? I certainly believe so.

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I am currently at university studying Mechanical Engineering, but in my spare time I'm into all things football. I'm an avid Liverpool fan but always try to remain impartial. My other interests include gaming and Formula One.


Luka Modric could prove the perfect Emre Can replacement at Liverpool

The Croatian has been linked with a move to Anfield with Emre Can expected to leave this summer.



Photo: Getty Images

Emre Can looks set to be on his way out of Anfield this summer as the 24-year-old German international seems unwilling to sign a new contract at Liverpool.

Spanish news outlet El Gol Digital have recently linked Real Madrid with the German international, although they would have to fend off interest from European rivals Juventus.

Speaking to Sport 1, Can recently expressed his desire to be featured in the world team of the year at some point in his career.

(Photo by Paul Ellis/Getty Images)

For the 24-year-old, it would be difficult to turn down a club of Madrid’s magnitude and his departure would represent a blow for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Nonetheless, a swap deal for Real Madrid star Luka Modric would be a superb way to ease the pain of the German’s exit.

Reports linking Can with the Bernabeu come just a matter of weeks after Spanish newspaper Dario Gol expressed Luka Modric’s desire to leave the current Champions League holders.

The Croation international is reportedly keen on a return to the Premier League return, with Liverpool, along with Tottenham, named as front-runners for his signature.

Even at 32 years of age, the Croatian midfielder is still one of the best players in the world and would represent an excellent short-term fix for the Reds.

Modric was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI in January and ranked as the 6th best player in the world in the Guardian’s prestigious Top 100 rankings.

His brilliant passing range, his superb footballing brain, and his delicate skills are all crucial components that would boost Liverpool’s attacking threat.

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Combined with a world-class attack consisting of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane, the Reds truly could stake a claim for the most dynamic frontline in England next season.

Most importantly, the addition of Modric could finally mark the replacement for Philippe Coutinho that many Liverpool supporters have been begging for.

A seasoned international with tremendous experience at the upper levels of world football would be a remarkable transfer for Klopp’s side, and would surely bolster their title aspirations in 2018/19.

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English Premier League

Andrew Robertson the most important Liverpool summer signing

The Scottish left-back has plugged a gap that has existed at Liverpool for some time.



Mohamed Salah rightly received all the praise yesterday, after Liverpool put Watford to the sword in the Premier League.

Liverpool beat the Hornets 5-0 at Anfield, with the Egyptian scoring four of the goals.

It is hard to argue with Salah being the club’s best signing in the summer. His tally of 37 goals in 43 games certainly highlights that fact. 

However, the most important signing might have been that of Andrew Robertson.

The Scottish left-back joined from Hull City in a deal, reported by the Independent, to be worth around £8 million. That price-tag is now looking an absolute bargain.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Liverpool have had problems at left-back for a number of seasons.

Alberto Moreno looked like being the solution. However, the Spaniard’s defensive work and decision making made him a liability.

Jon Flanagan, who was Brendan Rodgers’ regular left-back, has not reached similar heights since a series of knee injuries decimated his promising career.

Last season saw James Milner fill the role. The experienced midfielder played well out of position but long-term, was not the solution.

Now, Liverpool have Robertson. The Scotland international has made the step up from his time at Hull with ease.

The 24-year-old Glaswegian is not only a threat going forward, but defensively he is exceptional.

His delivery into the box is undoubtedly exemplary, but he is equally adept at stopping opposing players from getting near Liverpool’s.

Liverpool have managed to bring in a player perfectly suited to Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.

Heavy-metal is the way Robertson plays in both attack and defence and the fans at Anfield already love him.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

At just £8 million and only 24-years-old Liverpool picked up the bargain of the summer in the Premier League.

If Robertson can continue to progress and play with the same level of consistency he already has, then a decade of dominance at left-back could follow as Liverpool’s left-back.

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah within touching distance of all-time Premier League goal-scoring record

The Egyptian international has 28 Premier League goals this term.



Photo: Getty Images

Anfield witnessed a truly special moment in the second half of Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford on Saturday. Winning 3-0, Liverpool were running riot in wintry conditions, and Mohamed Salah collected the ball just inside the box on a hat-trick.

What followed was absolute magic, emblematic of a dream debut season in the north-west for the Egyptian. Salah was mobbed by three defenders, but left all three in the dust with one deft cut-back.

Then, with two more Watford players crashing in on the ball, Salah remarkably managed to poke an improvised finish into the far corner past the helpless Orestis Karnezis.

As Salah wheeled away in celebration, tongue stuck out and arms extended, Anfield reveled in history in the making. That goal marked Salah’s 27th of the Premier League season and he would go on to score his 28th just eight minutes later.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The Egyptian is on course to smash the Premier League scoring records in emphatic fashion. The current record is 31 goals, a tally achieved by Alan Shearer in 1995/96, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08, and fellow Red Luis Suarez in 2013/14.

With seven matches remaining, including fixtures against the likes of West Brom and Stoke, few would bet against Salah demolishing the 22-year-old record.

The achievement would place Salah in the illustrious company of Premier League legends, an incredible feat for a player who many in England wrote off during his short spell at Chelsea.

Thanks to Salah, Liverpool have barely missed a step after the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January, advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals and cementing their top-four position.

The prolific winger is proving all of his doubters wrong in audacious fashion, and with a Premier League Golden Boot and goal-scoring record seemingly on the way, he is one of the most in-form players in the world.

The early-April European clash with Manchester City will provide Salah with, perhaps, his biggest stage yet. Expect the top goalscorer in England to rise to the occasion.

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